For Sopranos’ Finale
Every mom’s dream — to have her progeny star in show business — turned into a real business for Eileen DeNobile, who runs her talent agency from her Lawrenceville home. One of DeNobile’s clients, pizza store owner Paul Colandrea, fulfilled his own special dream. He appeared in the final episode of the Sopranos and could be on the way to his own acting career. DeNobile is also a producer. As executive producer, she just finished filming a teenage comedy in Bucks County, called “Cluster,” starring Corey Feldman, Brian O’Halloran, and Bronson Pinchot.
DeNobile, age 49, grew up in Clifton, where her mother worked in a dry cleaners and her father worked for a television tube manufacturer. When DeNobile was 25, her pediatrician asked her if she would let her newborn baby appear in a soap opera. One thing led to another, with her son doing a music video and her daughter doing a commercial for J.C. Penney, and she ended up working for a talent agent in northern New Jersey. After 12 years there, she had a car accident, and couldn’t commute, so she opened her own office in Lawrenceville, complete with five phone lines.
“A lot of my clients came with me,” says DeNobile. She now has about 75 clients on the east coast, both children and adults, plus some in Los Angeles. Her daughter teaches kindergarten, and her son Dennis produces television and film with Noble Productions in Los Angeles.
On how she selects clients: “I am very picky. It is very much a connection for me. I can connect in 2 seconds. I know if we are going to get along. I know they will do what I ask them to do. It is not just a business, it’s a relationship,” she says. “Some of my clients, I have had them for 27 years.”
DeNobile was searching for a six-foot Italian male when she saw a picture of Colandrea in his pizza place in Penndel, Pennsylvania. He auditioned and won the Sopranos part. He fit the role (typical Italian) and he met DeNobile’s requirements (easy to get along with, cheerful personality).
“I’m the mystery man in the gray Members Only jacket,” says Colandrea in a phone interview, who came to this country from Naples 29 years ago. “Before I sit down at the counter, I look at Tony. Then I look around and look at Tony again. Then I go to the restroom and Tony’s looking at me.” He earned $3,000 for two days work (plus the audition day and the costume fitting day). He signed a silence pledge about the content of the second day’s filming.
“Paolo is the hottest thing since sliced bread,” says DeNobile. “He is getting an amazing amount of response.” Another of DeNobile’s clients, Du Kelly, also appeared in that episode. A platinum record rapper with Lords of the Underground, Kelly was among the African American men who walked into the restaurant and looked around.
A third client, Ciro Moriello, is a co-owner of Amalfi’s restaurant on Lawrenceville’s Main Street. With Moriello, DeNobile produced the movie that Moriello wrote, called “Sons of Italy,” which opens in Europe in the fall. Filmed in Italy, it is based on a true story about seven men, working on a cargo ship in 1994, who were killed in Algeria. A ship’s captain falls in love with an Algerian woman, and his mother opposes their marriage. “When he dies, she is pregnant, and they all make peace,” says Moriello. “I went to school with three of the guys who got killed. The message is that, not everybody is bad, not everybody is good.”
Noble Talent, 8 Hamilton Court, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-5928; fax, 609-219-0216. Eileen DeNobile, owner. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org